Students launch 100 ‘satellites’


Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated students who took part in the world record event of ‘Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam space research payload cubes challenge 2021’ held in Rameswaram on Sunday.

A total of 100 Femto satellites were launched through two high-altitude scientific balloons and they landed over 100 km away.

Speakers hailed the students for their commendable performance.

Over a video-conferencing facility, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan said she was delighted to take part in the event. ‘These students have fulfilled whatever our former President Abdul Kalam had thought,’ she said.

‘Children who used to play with balloons are launching small satellites using them. The main push behind this is the interaction they had with our former President Dr. Kalam,’ she added.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy recalled his meeting with Dr. Abdul Kalam. ‘Today more than 100 satellites are being launched using balloons. India is a pioneer in space research compared to other countries. A lot of young scientists should come up in our country,’ he said.

The event was organised by APJ Abdul Kalam International Foundation (AKIF) by House of Kalam Rameswaram along with Space Zone India and The Martin Group to kindle interest among students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

More than 800 students from standard VI to Plus Two and engineering colleges across the nation, designed and launched the satellites. ‘Prior to the main event, we conducted a series of online lectures and one-day hands-on workshops in different parts of the country.

These satellites will provide us with live data for studies based on agriculture (germination of seeds), ultraviolet radiation, natural composite materials, vibration, wind speed, global warming, ozone depletion, among others,’ said Anand Megalingam, founder and CEO, Space Zone India.

Gowtham, a 11th standard student from Government High School, Pennathur, Vellore, said he was able to see live data captured from satellites. “It was overwhelming to launch 100 Femto satellites through scientific balloons. It has kindled my interest in research and I wish to become an ISRO scientist,” he said.

Shraddha Santosh Chungade, studying 7th standard at Zilla Parishad School, Pendapur, Gangapur, Aurangabad, said she was really happy to learn how satellites are made.

Later, speaking to reporters, A.Sivathanu Pillai, founder CEO of BrahMos Aerospace, and former chief controller of R&D, DRDO, said the former President always encouraged the youth to dream big and think big. Such a platform and opportunities for the children from different parts of the country would kindle their interests. Many students hailed from government schools.

The data from these 100 Femto satellites can be analysed. The children have really performed commendable work and appreciated their efforts.

S. Neelofer Kursidh, the grand niece, and Sheik Dawood, the grand nephew of former President Kalam, and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

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